Above is a picture I took flying Jetblue on my way to CES. If you have not flown Jetblue, do it! They kick butt because they cost less while making the user experience more desirable. They have the cool snooze packs, rocking chairs, personal direct TV screens, spacious seats, clean, tasty snacks, easy to use webpage, soon to be dancing inspired terminals, great customer support, and many other great ideas that keep surprising me. (I’ve got tons more ideas, but I’ll let them hire me to hear those thoughts 😉 )
Anyhow, back to the picture above. This is what I saw while walking back to my seat; a sea of monitors glimmering pool-like reflections onto the walls. These screens really light up the place!!! Besides the light, these screens sure do create some heat. One thing that bothered me was that every single screen was “ON”, blasting images, light, and heat everywhere. Now I usually don’t make a gripe about this, but ever since I got into “save energy mode” I’ve realized how much money and energy can be saved through simple things such as a light. I asked myself, why can’t JetBlue turn off the screens that are not being used? I know users can turn off their screens, but it’s not easy to.(I’ve had to show so many people how to turn them off) This flight was half empty, hence, half the screens were “ON” for no reason. Why can’t the default be “OFF” while the action to turn on the screens be up to the users (If I recall right, this is how it works on some international airlines). Would this actually save them a few dollars of energy a flight, hundreds a day, and perhaps thousands a week?
Jetblue makes tons of simple changes to save money. I think this is a simple idea to save energy unless there is something about energy efficiency on airlines I’m unknowledgeable about. Perhaps they have some future concept to greet users with their names individually on screens for that VIP treatment expereience. Maybe the screens act as secondary heating devices which cost less than heating the fuselage? I have no clue, but I have faith in Jetblue in creating a much better user experience while keeping airfare low and keeping me a couch potato as I’ve probably logged in more movie and TV hours on their airline than I have on land! Jetblue, if your reading this, please make this change or let me know why not. Otherwise, hopefully there’s a reader out there with the right connections to save some mucho energy for them.
update: a few more pictures and thoughts from my red-eye flight back after the jump…
My return flight was a Red-Eye departing Las Vegas at 11:50pm and arriving back to Boston around 8 am. I figured most people would want to get some sleep, hence I was expecting some turned off screens.
I sat up front, row 8 window, but it was apparent that not many knew how to turn off their screens, except this one dude to the left 2 seats in front of me(kudos to him). I turned off the 2 screens in my row and the dude in the aisle seat followed my actions. Trust me, everyone was asleep when I took this picture around 4am while the screens were alive and kickin.. The ones I turned “off” were cool to the touch as the ones that were “on” gave off tons of heat. Wasting energy yah!
These jetters behind me were asleep for some time.(4:30ish a.m) Everytime a person walked by, they would wake up and squint oddly into the screen like wtf while blocking the light with their hands briefly! I really wanted to turn the screens off for them, but as mentioned before, it’s not easy…I counted this time…it’s 14 downward presses from the default brightness to turn off. I also played around to see how bright these screens got. You can’t adjust them to the brightest, but you can go pretty high..
I thought I’d get some shut-eye, but could not sleep. I was tempted to put on one of those eye patches they provided, but I don’t like the idea of being blindfolded in a plane. The picture on the left is one I took while trying to sleep, then, waking up due to the flickering of colors. Yup, it’s bright! A few minutes later I tried to look happier even with black bags under my eye, and a rather fake smile. Anyhow, yes, it’s bright and now I know how the women from the picture above probably felt when she woke up. (picture taken around 5:30-6 am)(screen brightness on default)
So JetBlue…PLEASE have the screens as “OFF” for default or make it easier to turn off. Save money, energy, probably make some customers happier, and join this bandwagon in saving energy in our energy gobbling climate crisis economy!!! (this flight was rather warm compared to others… I wonder how much the 100’s of screens warm up the fuselage?)
I always thought I was the only one annoyed that you can’t turn your screen off! You can adjust the brightness, and I usually turn the brightness on mine all the way down if/when I’m not watching something. I was so excited to fly them the first time I booked a flight – and then spent more than half of the flight “searching for satellite” and kept having the Simpson interrupted. I like to use my flying to catch up on reading, anyway!
I love the picture, great work! It always cracks me up to be on a Jetblue flight and you know everyone is watching the same Simpsons/Friends/Seinfeld rerun because the whole plane chuckles at the same time when something funny happens! 🙂
for sure, i love watching the simpsons..in fact, i met Matt at a conference some time ago and we partied it out at the beach for a bit.
As for reading, i was going to suggest for them to use the Screen as a reading light cause those things get megas bright…a channel that is just plain white.
I’m going to take more pictures…I took the above picture half way down the aisle…from the very back, it’s very impressive..
I sent a note to Jetblue and they said they would consider making the default OFF and make the ON a flick of a button…pretty simpel in my mind.perhaps even having a channel that is OFF would be more user friendly than pressing BRIGHTNESS 10 times downwards. Lots of ideas for the airline experience!!
FYI–the Korean Air flight I took recently to Hong Kong had these Audio/Video On-Demand screen systems on every seat…and they were ON by default. Even worse off, as compared to Jet Blue—-on Jet Blue, you can adjust your screen brightness until it’s turned off. On Korean Air, you can only adjust the screen brightness til it’s dim but not off. You literally have to use the remote control and push “mode” from “Interactive” (using the screen) to Audio in order to turn the screen off—and even then, the “system” is still turned on for the user to listen to programs. So their isn’t a way to turn the system off at all.
That said, Korean Air’s On-Demand entertainment system kicks Jet Blue’s butt–it didn’t have live tv (but then, we were flying over remote Alaska and Russia so I don’t think it mattered to have local live TV)—it was loaded up with over 20 current movies to watch plus had a bunch of shorts and documentaries, games and music. Check it out next time you fly to Asia.
I think once JetBlue goes international, they can afford to give us controllable, on-demand movies for free with games, etc like the international flights. otherwise, for $50 flying here and there, it beats the international flights at around 500+…Jetblue flies to Cancun now though, so an international future may just happen…i wonder if the Cancun flights are any different.
The Cancun flights from Boston cost $260 roundtrip!!!(Sweet)…all the other airlines are like $375+.
I bet if they took this screen OFF idea of mine, they could make tickets much lower! Imagine, a GREEN JetBlue!
Having them go to canada would rock even though Canada is driving distance to me. Hoepfully they have plans to.
Am I missing something here? A jet aircraft’s internal power doesn’t connect to any external electrical grid. It’s current is produced by an onboard alternators or generators, in turn powered by the engines. Those turbines are spinning whether you watch tv or not (at least you better hope so)! This reminds me of a fellow who believed his car would use more gas if he turned up the temperature on the heater.
heya, you probably are right about the turbines turning no matter what, but, I’ll assume the less energy used, the less no matter. The tv’s on Red Eye flights are useless, hence generating much more heat, hence, needing more energy to cool the fuselage. My point about the energy is that the enegy doesnt need to be used, even if it pletiful.
As for the car…I’m not sure what it does when you turn up the heat, but I have heard it is true that you use more gas when you turn on your ac….i’d have to look this up, but the engineer who told me about this several years ago convinced me quite easily … otherwise, the less enegy in any case, the better….especially if it is energy being used for no reason.
It came to my attention that there was recent fire on a jet caused by faully wiring in the passenger compartment… The monitors are powered by miles of extra wiring, and any fault in that wiring increases the possibility of starting a fire. I’m no flight safety expert but I reckon with every monitor drawing power would increase the risk of a fire by significant factor. Burning planse dropping out of the sky aren’t the most environmentally friendly things I know about.
I’m no genius, but it was recently pointed out to me that planes flying at high altitudes require the cabin air to be COOLED, not heated, even though it’s colder up there. Think about it …. compressing the air in a container (cabin pressure) causes the air in the container (i.e., the cabin) to heat up and thereby requires air conditioning to be running at those altitudes. In other words, all those TV monitors turned ON clearly ARE costing money and extra energy to be wastefully spent.
BTW, turbines turn by way of fuel being burned. At best, if airplanes ever used hybrid auto technology found in braking systems, only THEN could you argue that the turning turbines would GENERATE power — and then only when the plane shut OFF the engines and allowed the forward motion to turn the turbines, not the fuel-injected engines. I doubt many of us will live to ever see such technology used in commercial airplanes.